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Decorative Arts

On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, From Colonies to States, 1660–1830
This trivet depicts the novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe surrounded by the characters of her best-selling antislavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). Made in England for the American market, this trivet is an example of the “Tom mania” that raged on both sides of the Atlantic. The title character, Uncle Tom, is depicted in chains along with his wife and child, from whom he was separated when he was sold “down the river” to another plantation.
MEDIUM Glazed earthenware
  • Place Manufactured: England
  • DATES ca. 1855
    DIMENSIONS 3/8 x 6 5/8 in. (1 x 16.8 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Unmarked
    COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
    ACCESSION NUMBER 2013.37.1
    CREDIT LINE Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION After George Cruikshank (British, 1792-1878). Trivet, ca. 1855. Glazed earthenware, 3/8 x 6 5/8 in. (1 x 16.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, 2013.37.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2013.37.1_PS11.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 2013.37.1_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2020
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION A circular earthenware trivet with a white ground and a central motif transfer-printed in teal ink. The central medallion depicts a bust portrait of Harriet Beecher Stowe above a rectangular label inscribed: “Ms. HARRIET BEECHER STOWE/ THE AUTHOR OF/ UNCLE TOM’S CABIN”. Eight characters of the novel stand in an arch around the medallion in various attitudes of respect and reverence, the figure of a girl at the top center holding a halo over the portrait’s head . A whip lies inert in the foreground and the group is surrounded by tall weeds interspersed between the figures. The raised rim along the circumference decorated with a thin teal line. CONDITION: Very good condition.
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